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Insurance, Risk and Trust: From GUARDHOG to SUPERHOG

Posted by admin on May 15, 2020 · Hosts

Humphrey Bowles, CEO and Co-Founder of GUARDHOG, explains what drove their new venture, SUPERHOG, and what it can offer hosts, guests and platforms:

When it comes to home-sharing and peer-to-peer communities, trust is seen as the key to bonding these communities together and it’s spoken about on a sliding scale ranging from ‘trust’ to ‘mistrust’ with shades of uncertainty in-between.

Proving, defining and agreeing on an individual’s trustworthiness or ‘trust score’ is an ethical minefield that no one, as yet, has produced the answer to. But what exactly is trust and how do we define it?

The dictionary defines trust as a “firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.” Trust is a complex and subjective subject; put simply it can mean different things to different people at different times.

It is multi-layered, existing between individual hosts and guests, as well as between a platform, (including their culture and technology), and their users. This means trust and mistrust can exist concurrently within the same community.

For instance, I might trust Airbnb but mistrust a guest with a bad review. Or conversely, I might trust a host on Booking.com but mistrust the platform to look after me if something goes wrong.

The home-sharing ecosystem

The home-sharing ecosystem is made up of many different communities, or marketplaces/platforms. These communities are social, unstructured communities made up of individuals coming together with shared purposes and hopefully values.

However, in reality the central value and purpose are the benefits they are looking to extract from the transaction, whether these are for profit, reciprocal arrangements or free, and these are the lines along which home-sharing communities have formed.

This means that home-sharing platforms are not, and are not designed to be, purely trust-bonded communities. On top of this, for communities to exist, exclusion is key – you either fit in or you don’t. Being able to demonstrate that you do fit in can be, and is, hard to begin with.

Guest leaves the keys to their rental inside after their stay

I know from personal experience how hosts struggle to get their first booking, and how guests are viewed extremely cautiously when they have no reviews. No reviews often equates to no trust.

This creates three key insights:

  1. Trust and mistrust often exist at the same time.
  2. You can trust a platform but not the users and vice versa.
  3. Being able to demonstrate that you fit in, as a host or a guest, is hard.

I believe these insights are ground-breaking for home-sharing. It means you can no longer look at trust on a rudimentary sliding scale as it simply doesn’t capture the essence of how it sits within the home-sharing ecosystem. It also eloquently explains why nasty surprises will continue to happen even though we’re using platforms we trust.

This is THE reason why bad stuff is able to happen. It also explains why it’s so hard for new people to join these communities so they are unnecessarily excluded and there is no universal way of being able to establish their trustworthiness. Until now.

The solution is SUPERHOG

We have spent the last year developing SUPERHOG, as a sister platform to GUARDHOG. It is inspired by the elusive point where risk and insurance meet trust. We’ve built SUPERHOG as a pure ‘trust-bonded’ tribe where the central value and sole purpose is trust. Why a “tribe”?

Because tribes are the most humble and fundamental structures of society that cannot exist without the crucial ‘trust-bond’. The trust-bond SUPERHOG provides people can be demonstrated, not by a linear trust-score, but by a combination of tangible factors including close connections, relevant experiences and shared information.

This trust tribe is not about exclusion. Completely the opposite. Everyone is welcome in SUPERHOG. Anyone can be a member. But because we are a trust-bonded tribe, with trust being placed as our core marker, being able to consistently demonstrate trust is the key tenant to being included within the tribe.

A tribe where each member has earned trust, and where the trust must be nurtured. Trust is earned and built. But it can then either be spent or squandered, or it can be transformed into something greater.

Discover home-sharing without risk

This is significant because where there is uncompromised trust, then risk is fundamentally eradicated. Without risk, there is no need for insurance. Home-sharing without risk opens the door for significant, expedited home-sharing growth.

People enjoying their Airbnb

SUPERHOG provides a platform that allows all members to prove their trustworthiness and gain access across, and belong to, all home-sharing communities. Our members range from occasional Airbnb’ers and holiday home exchangers to professional hosts and house-sitters. This interconnectivity is the way that we join up the dots at scale across the home-sharing community.

SUPERHOG is about mastering trust. Trust is the currency that we trade in, supporting individuals and the tribe as a whole. And we back ourselves and our community, by offering a SUPERGUARANTEE as backup if anything goes wrong.